The 12 Steps Origins

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- a clearly defined set of ‘steps’ to a full recovery

A 12 Step program is a set of guidelines and principles, developed and used as a course of action to recover from alcoholism and addiction. It has also been successful in the treatment of compulsive disorders and behavioural problems.

The first 12 Step program was developed in the 1930’s by two alcoholics who found that following this set of principles they found relief from their own alcoholism - where medicine and psychiatry had previously failed. They then passed this program and knowledge on to others and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was born.

The 12 Steps were then successfully adapted for use in the treatment of drug and behavioural addictions. Fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Gamblers Anonymous (GA) were started.

There are now over 200 12 Step based fellowships and the 12 Step program of recovery is used worldwide in residential rehab centres and out-patient programs as the basis of treatment for the recovery from addictions and compulsive disorders.
The 12 Steps – Origins and Principles - Rehab in spain
Principles of the 12 Step program are
  • Admitting that one cannot control one's alcoholism, addiction or compulsion
  • Recognising a higher power that can give strength
  • Examining past mistakes and harms done
  • Making amends for these mistakes and harms done
  • Learning to live life with a new code of behaviour
  • Helping others who suffer from the same alcoholism, addictions or compulsions

  • 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  • 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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